Other States

Badal not to appear before SIT tomorrow in Kotkapura case

Former Punjab Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal patron Parkash Singh Badal will not be appearing before the Special Investigating Team (SIT), probing the 2015 Kotkapura police firing incident, due to health reason.

Mr. Badal has been summoned by the SIT at a resthouse in Mohali on June 16.

In a letter to the SIT chairman, Mr. Badal said that he was committed to fully cooperate with the law and that he had complete faith in the judiciary. He had, however, asked the SIT “to reschedule the date for his appearance for the investigations as he was not keeping good health and had been advised complete bed rest for ten days by doctors.”

The former Chief Minister said that as soon as his health gets better he would be available to join the investigation as per law. Mr. Badal added that he was hopeful that “the newly set-up SIT, unlike the previous one, would respect the law of the land and conduct a fair investigation, withstanding political interference from the ruling dispensation.”

In his two-page response to the summon from the SIT, Mr. Badal said that “the entire process of investigations already stands brazenly compromised through blatant and unapologetic political interference and it reeks too strongly of political vendetta to inspire any confidence about a fair process of law being followed.”

The Akali Dal leader pointed out that the very need for the present SIT had “arisen out of the brazen politicisation of the case by the previous SIT.” In this regard, Mr. Badal came down heavily against one of the members of the previous SIT for his “openly political conduct” which had allegedly subverted the entire investigative process.

SIT role questioned

“With a callous and contemptuous disregard for all the established procedures and norms, this officer completely usurped and appropriated to himself the entire functioning and designated role of all the other members of the SIT, including it Chairman, and rendered them totally redundant and they were reportedly not even a part of the investigative process,” said Mr. Badal.

Mr. Badal said that the findings of the previous SIT had been scripted jointly by half a dozen high profile members of the ruling party.

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Printable version | Jul 29, 2021 12:32:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/badal-not-to-appear-before-sit-tomorrow-in-kotkapura-case/article34816497.ece

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